The modernist fascination with the Far East is a well-known phenomenon, driven among other things by the "decline of the West" zeitgeist. When adopted by peripheral communities involved in nation building, it often served other needs and, in the process, became distorted or disproportioned. This article focuses on the representation of the Far East in the Hebrew and Yiddish literatures of the interwar years. Its main argument is that the longing for the Far East in these literatures has contributed to their self-fashioning precisely as occidental and modern. Accordingly, this is an intriguing test case that sheds light on how one peripheral culture gazes at another, how one Other gazes at another-as opposed to traditional postcolonial research that tends to examine Self-Other or majority-minority relations. The article proposes the term "second-order modernism" to describe the fertile changes and disruptions inherent to the displacement of any modernist model onto a peripheral culture.
|Number of pages
|Dibur: Literary Journal
|Published - 2020
Bibliographical noteDibur Literary Journal special issue: Peripheral modernism
Issue 9–10, Fall 2020 - Spring 2021
Issue editors: Vered K. Shemtov, Melih Levi